Woman talking(l+r), Hand passing bill(c)

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‘That would never happen at Olive garden’: Customer says restaurant with 3 Michelin Stars treated her like ‘garbage,’ charged her over $200 extra. It gets worse

'Ever since I found out it’s the Michelin tires I cannot take it seriously.'


Phil West


Posted on Mar 13, 2024   Updated on Mar 13, 2024, 11:20 am CDT

An American couple traveling to Paris sought a dining experience at a Michelin Star-awarded restaurant—which is often a “you get what you pay for” dining excursion with excellent food, impeccable service, and a price tag to match.

But a couple planning to shell out $1,500 on a meal got charged even more than they bargained for after almost not getting seated at all.

The nightmare dining experience was conveyed by Atlanta-based TikTok creator Joce (@jocedub) in a video posted on Feb. 8 that is approaching a million views.

The video starts with a stitch from another unsatisfactory Michelin-star restaurant experience, chronicled by the Daily Dot in February. It then goes into Joce’s account of making the reservation months in advance and detailing an allergy to five different tropical fruits. She also made clear to the restaurant she was traveling from the United States and couldn’t confirm her reservation via phone but could do so through several different online routes.

According to the Michelin Guide site, “A Michelin Star is awarded to restaurants offering outstanding cooking. We take into account five universal criteria: the quality of the ingredients, the harmony of flavours, the mastery of techniques, the personality of the chef as expressed through their cuisine and, just as importantly, consistency both across the entire menu and over time.”

It goes on to explain that this is an annual award and “the famously anonymous Michelin Inspectors – all full-time employees who are former restaurant and hospitality professionals – make the decisions.” It might take them multiple visits and multiple dishes tasted to make this gold-standard determination.

Joce says she and her date arrived at the restaurant “dressed to the nines,” saw a freshly set two-top they believed was theirs, and expected to be seated upon arrival. However, as Joce relays it, “The guy gets all huffy, and he walks off, and he gets a manager. And the manager comes over guns blazing. And he’s like, ‘You can’t just walk in and demand a table.'”

Eventually, the couple was seated despite the restaurant’s insistence that the partially erased reservation with the American phone number was not theirs. Joce relays that both of them come from a fine dining background—she’s a pastry chef, he’s a sommelier—and they know what they were in for with extra charges when they opted for wine pairings.

But then, about halfway through, Joce says the sommelier and her date got into what she calls a “wine dude dick-swinging contest” about wines they’ve sampled. This led to the restaurant’s sommelier offering to substitute a wine paired with one course for what they believe is a much better wine—but there’s only enough in the bottle for half a glass each.

@jocedub #stitch with @Kacie Rose ♬ original sound – Joce

Then, when it comes time for dessert, Joce says they were told they couldn’t have it because of her food allergy. But Joce’s date pointed out he doesn’t have a food allergy, so they brought him dessert that included a passion fruit sorbet—which is not one of the fruits Joce is allergic to. But she says they insisted the kitchen was closed and wouldn’t bring her dessert anyway.

Then, as she points out, “Y’all were trying to claim that you didn’t have my reservation, but now all of a sudden, you know about my allergy? Y’all were f*cking with me at the front door for no reason.”

They then received the bill. In addition to the meal and the full wine pairing, Joce says they’ve also been charged for the half-pour they tried in place of one of the wine pairings.

Joce notes, “We were both dumbfounded by the time we left. I honestly think it may have been because we were Americans,” before concluding, “We were treated like just complete garbage.”

Commenters had thoughts.

One cracked, “That would never happen at Olive Garden.”

Someone else shared, “I am celiac and I got glutened at a Michelin star restaurant. Needless to I was furious.”

Another opined, regarding Michelin guide recommendations, “Ever since I found out it’s the Michelin tires I cannot take it seriously.”

But others defended the honor of Michelin stars, echoing Joce’s assertion that she’s had great experiences at other Michelin-rated establishments.

As one pointed out, “There are some amazing places!!!! Don’t let these turn you off from them. I’ve been to some insanely great restaurants.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Joce via TikTok comment for more information.

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*First Published: Mar 13, 2024, 3:00 pm CDT